The High Court ruling on the petition cases of Members of Parliament of the All People’s Congress (APC) party has shrunk the number of MPs of the APC to 57 and increased the number of MPs of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) to 58.
Before the ruling on the petition of the APC MPs the, the number of APC MPs in parliament was 68 whiles the number of SLPP MPs was 48.
The awaited petition cases on Members of Parliament (MPs) of the All People’s Congress (APC) by the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was decided on Wednesday 31st May 2019.
Upon the ruling on the 16 petitioned MPs of the APC, the seats of 10 of those who were petitioned have been replaced by SLPP MPs as the APC managed to retain 5 of their seats, and there will be a re-election for one of the seats within the next three (3) months.
The Wednesday decision by the High Court of Sierra Leone has been viewed by political commentators and likeminded Sierra Leoneans as a tit for tat politics that has been displayed by the SLPP.
It is believed that the APC did the same to the SLPP in 2012, and that they (APC) are now being repaid by the SLPP.
Human right organizations and well-meaning Sierra Leoneans has considered the court ruling as one which denies electorates their franchise, especially as the 9 elected APC MPs were replaced by SLPP MPs.
According to a press statement by the Sierra Leone Renaissance Movement (SLRM), they are concerned about the judgement delivered by the High Court in several petitions against the election and continuance of some members of parliament as parliamentarians through questionable judicial decisions which removes democratic franchise from the people.
They (SLRM) referenced that as stated in the Public Elections Act of 2012 when an elected member of parliament has his or her candidacy declared null and void by the court, another election should be held to declare another winner.
SLRM maintained that the judiciary relied on wrong precedents in giving verdicts on the petition cases which they (SLRM) believed will fan the flames of discontent amongst aggrieved citizens and opposition groups.
The declaration and swearing of the new members of parliament violates section 146 of the Public Elections Act of 2012 and democratic processes wherein the people decide their representatives, SLRM stated.